Plans set for the fall
If you like to cook and have a killer chili recipe, don’t miss this opportunity to win the grand prize of $1,000. Additional winners will pocket $500, $300, $200 or $100 as runner-up. The discounted entry fee of $25 expires Sept. 10. Entries received after that date will be $50. Entries are limited to the first 50 teams (a team is limited to 4 members) and everyone must submit a written application. Applications to enter the competition are available online at www.chilicookoffofurbana.com.
Take advantage of the early discount and shake out those aprons, get out those pots and pans and create the best chili in Champaign County!
The festival is sponsored by the Monument Square District and is held in conjunction with the Hoopla Parade featuring the Dayton Antioch Shriners and their miniature vehicles. Applications for the parade are available on the Festival website and 4-H groups, ball teams, scouts, church groups and area bands are invited to join the fun.
“This is truly a family affair – something for everyone,” said Chairman Bean. “ To ensure a safe environment, we will adhere to all COVID protocols in place at the time of the event.
When: Friday, June 11th at 7pm.
Packet Pick begins at 5:30pm, Rain or Shine, at the Upper Shelter house above the Adult Softball Fields.
Course is stroller and dog friendly (on a leash).
Where: Melvin Miller Park 731 Children's Home Rd., Urbana, OH 43078.
$25 Pre-register before June 1, 2021 - includes entry and t-shirt.
$25 Registration after June 1, 2021 - includes entry, but no t-shirt.
$30 Day of Race Registration - includes entry, but no t-shirt.
Groups of 6 or more? Team leader, call 937.215.7416 to be given a discount code ($20 per participant).
Click here to register online!
A goody bag will be given to all participants at check-in, which will include water and nutritional snacks.
Awards will be given out at 8:00 p.m. for top runners. The top overall male and female runners, along with 2nd - 4th place finishers, will receive a special recognition award.
All proceeds benefit our mission: to champion the vital downtown business district.
Monument Square District is a not for profit organization and any donation is tax deductible.
The family event will include the balloons, music, food trucks, contests, children’s activities and, for adults, a dedicated beer garden. Attendees can also enjoy dinner on the patio of the Airport Café and delve into a piece of “airport pie.”
Balloons will launch at 6 p.m. and glow at 8:30 p.m. weather permitting. Activities are still being scheduled and a complete event calendar will be available at a later date.
Vendors should register by Aug. 13 to receive a discount rate and to secure a position as space is limited. Registration forms are available online at www.balloonfestohio.com.
To ensure a safe event, the committee will adhere to all COVID-19 protocols as dictated by the Ohio Department of Health.
“The committee invites everyone to ‘Save the Date’ for an evening of fun and a spectacular display of light and color,” said Elton Cultice, committee chairman.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
This year has been a challenge and this holiday season proves to be as well. We know things aren’t the same as they usually are but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on what makes this season so special. We came up with a list of things to do this year to help keep the holiday spirit alive and to help you spread some cheer.
1.Send Christmas cards to family you can’t visit this year
We may not get to see everyone this year for the holidays, but you can still send some holiday cheer by sending custom cards to them in the mail. Include updates about the year and get the whole family to sign them for an extra personal touch.
2.Decorate cookies with candy from Carmazzi’s Candy and General Store
Making cookies is a great activity for all ages! You could make sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, or even a gingerbread house. All the candy you could need for decorating can be found right in Urbana at Carmazzi’s Candy and General Store.
3.Volunteer at Caring Kitchen
Volunteering during the holidays is a great way to spread cheer and to help others have a great holiday too. You can volunteer with the Caring Kitchen in Urbana with meal preparation, serving, and clean up. They also take donations all year long!
4.Donate toys for dogs and cats to Barely Used Pets Rescue
Don’t forget about our furry friends this time of year. While they are waiting to find their forever homes the amazing people at Barely Used Pets in Urbana are keeping them warm and happy this time of year. You can donate food or toys to the shelter to give the animals an extra special holiday.
5.Drive around a see the lights caravan style
A fun way to get together with family while staying safe this holiday is to see lights around town caravan style. Everyone stays in their own car, but you can all experience the joy and magic of twinkling lights. Be sure to stop by Hemisphere in Mechanicsburg first for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate!
6.Make a homemade gift
Making the holiday season extra personal this year will make it feel like you are closer than ever, even if you aren’t together. Try your hand at making a homemade holiday ornament to send to a loved one to let them know how much they mean to you.
7.Leave out treats for the delivery drivers (and Santa)
We all know that Santa loves cookies and milk but don’t forget about all the amazing delivery drivers that come to your house almost every day! Prepackaged treats and bottles of water will give them that extra boost and let them know you appreciate all their hard work of delivery all your gifts in time for the holidays.
8.Have an ugly sweater themed dinner night at home
You don’t have to have a party to don that ugly sweater hanging in your closet. Select a night of the week to get dressed up with your family, in your most festive gear, and enjoy a family favorite meal together.
9.Put together a holiday jigsaw puzzle
The holidays are all about enjoying time together. Find a winter themed puzzle that you like and spend time together completing the puzzle. This is a great way to relax, work together, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
10.Choose old toys to donate a local thrift store
This is the time of year for giving. If you have any gently used toys that are still in good condition, there are plenty of places you can donate them where another kid can treasure them for years to come.
Join Urbana United Methodist Church for an afternoon of Fall Fun!
October 31st from 11AM - 3PM at Melvin Miller Park in Urbana.
Bring the whole family to our annual Fall Festival (trunk or treat)! This year, the event will be held at Melvin Miller Park. Instead of "Car Trunks", we will be passing out candy along the walking path at the park. To enjoy "Trails & Treats", we are encouraging you to park by the soccer fields and make your way down the path to the start of the line. After going through the line, enjoy some delicious food from a food truck and stick around for a kids show on the stage by the pond.
- Food Trucks
- Tons of Candy
- Prize Giveaways
- Kids Show on the Stage
Rain Date: Sunday, November 1st from 1 to 5pm.
This is a free community event, open to everyone!
We ask that everyone in attendance please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Volunteering is a great way to help your community. It is also a great way to build skills, meet new friends, and give back. Whether you are in school or retired, we can help you find a volunteer opportunity that is a perfect fit for you, right here in Champaign County.
LifeCare Alliance for Meals on Wheel
The delivery company for Meals on Wheels, LifeCare Alliance, is looking for volunteer delivery drivers in Logan and Champaign counties. Volunteers may sign up for a route one day a month, one day a week or as often as they would like to in-between.
You can make a huge impact on those receiving meals, for many clients the Meals-on-Wheel delivery driver is the only person they encounter that day. Be the light in their day and volunteer now!
Learn more by calling 614-444-MEAL or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cedar Bog Nature Preserve
If you love nature and want to find a volunteer opportunity locally, look no further than Cedar Bog. Individuals, families and organized groups are all welcome. There is always a lot to be done at the Bog, here are some of the ways you can volunteer your time.
You can learn more by calling 937-484-3744 to schedule a meeting.
United Way offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities in Champaign County. There are many ongoing ways to help and there are also events available to sign up for.
You can learn more about the opportunities available at uwccmc.galaxydigital.com/need/
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to eliminate substandard housing. They build and repair homes to make good living conditions for all. Our local Habitat for Humanity group completed their first home in 2007. In total they have built eight homes in Urbana, two in Saint Paris, and one in Mechanicsburg.
If you want to be part of this amazing organization and volunteer for a Saturday build, you can request more info at www.hfhcco.org/volunteer or by contacting ReStore in Urbana at 937-653-2981.
The goal of the Champaign County Family YMCA is to build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. Some of their volunteer opportunities include; welcoming guests, rocking babies, reading and playing with preschoolers, coaching youth sports teams, after school homework helpers, and special events!
You can visit their website at www.champaignfamilyymca.org/cms-view-page.php?page=volunteering to fill out a volunteer application.
There are so many volunteer opportunities at Mercy Health. Here is a list of some of the potential volunteer opportunities.
Each facility will have their own needs, so it is best to call 937-653-5231 to inquire about setting up a time to meet.
Ohio’s Mad River is a popular brown trout fishery with the river being stocked yearly with over 12,000 brown trout by the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s fish hatcheries. In Champaign County, this river flows through the county with multiple access points, including a newly created, state owned access point near the intersection of State Route 296 and State Route 29, just north of Urbana.
In addition to fishing and fly fishing, the Mad River is one of Ohio’s great places to kayak and canoe. Birch Bark Canoe Livery provides rentals of canoes and kayaks for paddlers who want to enjoy the cool and clear waters of the Mad River. In most places within the river, the water is only 2-3 feet deep with the river bottom visible to paddlers, and the gentle current of the river allows for a leisurely pace.
For the camping enthusiast, Champaign County is home to Kiser Lake State Park and Rittenhouse Resort which both offer camping sites. Campsite reservations are required for Kiser Lake State Park and can be placed by calling (866) OHIOPARKS or by reserving online. Kiser Lake State Park features a 396-acre lake and is a popular destination for camping, swimming, non-motorized boating, picnicking, hiking, and fishing. Rittenhouse Resort is a privately owned, 40-acre campground that is open May through October and features a swimming lake and fishing pond.
The Simon Kenton Trail bike trail extends through Champaign County and connects to the larger Miami Valley trail system which features the nation’s largest paved trail network of over 340 miles of trail. In total, the Simon Kenton Trail is a 35-mile trail adventure from Springfield, through Urbana, and up to Bellefontaine. Within Champaign County, parking and access to the trail is available at County Line Road, at Woodburn Road, at State Route 55, and at the restored Urbana Depot. In addition to public parking, the restored depot on Miami Street in Urbana features public restrooms and a popular coffeehouse.
For the nature lover, Champaign County is home to three, stated owned nature preserves, including Cedar Bog, Davey Woods, and Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker. Cedar Bog Nature Preserve is located just south of Urbana and is considered by many to be Ohio’s premier natural area. The site is home to many rare plants and animals and it is a National Natural Landmark, one of only twenty-five such sites in the State of Ohio. A boardwalk and nature center are also located on site. Davey Woods State Nature Preserve is a 103-acre mature forest woodland featuring tulip trees, sugar maples, and oak. This site is a great place for hiking or fall color viewing. Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve is a 37-acre preserve that features glacial landforms.
More evidence of glaciers can be found at the county’s caves that are open to the public. Cave Adventures is home to an extraordinarily breathtaking cave where guests descend 33 feet underground. Each guest is fitted with their own helmet and headlamps to guide the way in this unique adventure, to be explored in the most primitive sense. Crawl, climb and walk as you discover splendid stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, columns, flow stones, curtains and more! The ancient cavern boasts a “red room” that will astound all visitors.
No trip to Champaign County is complete without visiting Ohio's largest and most beautiful cavern! Ohio Caverns is an all-weather attraction that is open all year. Each tour is guided and is a comfortable walk through the cavern. Each tour takes approximately one hour where the temperature remains a constant 54 degrees throughout the year. The tours are educational and provide the public with an opportunity to see the wonderful world of underground beauty.
Lastly, Champaign County is a destination for both disc golfers and traditional golfers alike. The Hilltop Disc Golf Course at Melvin Miller Park in Urbana is free and offers nine open holes and nine wooded holes with varying terrain. In addition, Melvin Miller Park also offers an additional nine disc golf course that is located on flat terrain. Beyond disc golf, Champaign County is home to the Urbana Country Club, Lakeland Golf Club, and Woodland Golf Club.
For outdoor adventurers planning an overnight trip, the Cobblestone Hotel-Urbana is offering special rates for those participating in the Explore the Outdoors Trail. Call the hotel directly and ask for the FFT rate.
To learn more about the unique destinations and attractions in Urbana and Champaign County, follow the Champaign County Visitors Bureau on Facebook and Instagram or check us out on the web at www.visitchampaignohio.com.
Submitted by Champaign County Visitors Bureau